Fall/Winter 2015-2016

Orel Protopopescu


I had two daughters,
one eight, the other four,
the younger one so light,
she barely stirred a breeze
as she swung
between me and her sister
from the soft chains
of our arms.
Our laughter, our summer dresses—
yellows, pinks and blues—
skipped along the street
where, suddenly, a famous writer
came loping out of the park
in shorts and tennis shoes,
fresh from the flagellation
of the book his ex-wife wrote.
He stopped to stare at us
from under shaggy brows
with the hunger you’d expect
on the face of one condemned
who’d stumbled into Eden
from the blackest banks of Lethe.
How beautiful we looked
in the dark light of his gaze.
Why does that moment cling,  
our silent interchange?
Now I’m the one who stops

to stare at mothers everywhere.

Orel Protopopescu won the Oberon poetry prize in 2010 and honorable mentions in previous years. Her book of translations of Chinese poetry, A Thousand Peaks, co-authored by Siyu Liu, was honored by the New York Public Library. Thelonious Mouse, a picture book, was SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Winner, 2012, for the New York metro region. What Remains, a chapbook of poems, appeared in 2011. A Word’s a Bird, her bilingual (English/French) poetry app for iPad, was chosen by School Library Journal as one of the best children’s apps of 2013.



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